Iraqi sues U.S. military contractors

A man who claims he was held at Abu Ghraib for almost a year has filed a lawsuit against two firms, saying he suffered physical and mental torture while imprisoned.

Published May 5, 2008 9:21PM (EDT)

On Monday, Emad al-Janabi, an Iraqi man, filed a federal lawsuit against two U.S. military contractors; al-Janabi claims he was tortured while imprisoned at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. The suit, which was filed in Los Angeles, is directed at CACI International Inc. and L-3 Communications, as well as a former CACI contractor, Steven "Big Steve" Stefanowicz.

According to the Associated Press, al-Janabi says he was detained by U.S. troops during a late-night raid, and that he and his family were beaten at the time. He also says he was held in Abu Ghraib for 10 months. A statement put out by a firm with lawyers representing al-Janabi says that "during a surprise inspection of Abu Ghraib, the International Committee of the Red Cross discovered Mr. Al-Janabi naked, chained and bruised in a cell in the 'hard site' of the prison. He was a so-called 'ghost detainee' who was intentionally hidden from the Red Cross on subsequent inspections and held without appearing on the prisoner lists."

According to a list given in the statement, in his complaint al-Janabi alleges that he was:

  • Subjected to physical and mental torture in sessions where the defendants acted as interrogators and translators
  • Transported to a detainee site in a wooden box and covered with a hood
  • Scarred on his face when his eyes were clawed by an interrogator
  • Exposed to a mock execution of his brother and nephew, and told by defendant translators that he would be executed or crushed by a helicopter or a tank
  • Hung upside down, with his feet chained to the steel slats of a bunk bed until he lost consciousness, and hung by his arms
  • Repeatedly deprived of food and sleep
  • Threatened with dogs

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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